It was another busy week in the world of Gymnastics. Following on from a busy weekend, where we witnessed MyKayla Skinner win the Glasgow World Cup while Christine Still simultaneously attempted to make the world believe that Claudia Fragapane was the rightful winner, there was quite a lot to talk about in the world of gymnastics.
Here is the week in review.
- Mary-Anne Monckton ruptures her ACL:
Don't take anything for granted… On Friday I was overwhelmed with pride + a sense of accomplishment when I was named to the Pacific Rim and Olympic Test Event team🇦🇺 Unfortunately less than 24 hours later I had 2 falls from bars, the second resulting in dislocating my knee, and rupturing my ACL in the process😔 Shocked, devastated + upset is an understatement right now…however I am extremely proud for persevering + pushing myself to my absolute limit in the gym since my last ankle reconstruction 16 months ago, to give myself the best chance of being named to the team which will help qualify Australia for the Olympic Games in Rio. In this; I can find peace and satisfaction. 🙌🏼 Although the #RoadToRio has come to an abrupt end, I love gymnastics and still have a lot of things I want to achieve, so I've now got my eyes fixed on the 2017 World Championships in Montreal, and my major goal of earning a Worlds medal. Thank you all for your help, support, kind words and encouragement over the last year or so, I wouldn't have been able to make it back without you. Now it's time to do it all again! – 🇦🇺To my team- smash it in Rio 👊🇧🇷 – ✨"The only time you truly fail is when you stop trying" ✨ #NeverGiveUp #BackToTheDrawingBoard
Aussie gymnast and Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Mary-Anne Monckton, familiar to many GymCastic listeners announced on March 15th that after being named to the team that will represent Australia at the Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Washington and the Olympic Test Event in Rio she ruptured her ACL in training just one day later. Gym fans across the world collectively sobbed as they have followed Mez’s journey for quite some time and really hoped to see the Aussie gymnast reach the pinnacle of the sport and compete in Rio. However, with this injury, her Olympic bid has sadly come to an end, however stated that she intends to come back in 2017 and contend for a spot at the 2017 World Championships in Montreal, Canada in order to pursue a major goal of earning a World medal. We hope to see her in Montreal and wish her a speedy recovery and all the luck in the world as she continues to pursue her passion for the sport of Gymnastics.
2. Teams begin to be named for Rio Test Event:
This week, various countries began announcing the individual gymnasts or the teams that will represent them at the Olympic Test Event in Rio in April. News from Trinidad & Tobago, Ireland, Romania, France and Australia came before the F.I.G released the list of nominative registrations that they have received from various countries. Obviously, this is subject to various changes. However this list gives a good indication as to the group of gymnasts that we will see in Rio in April and also in Rio in August. One of the biggest announcements came from Trinidad & Tobago who named Thema Williams after controversy surrounding Williams and other Olympic contender, Marisa Dick arose regarding pictures posted online. Big news also came from Romania, who last weekend suffered a heavy blow after leader, Larisa Iordache was injured and ruled out of competing at the test event. Romania announced that 2004 Olympic Champion, Catalina Ponor, still in the early stages of her comeback would compete at the Olympic Test Event with hopes to lead her team to the Olympic Games without one of their strongest gymnasts, Larisa Iordache.
3. Highs and lows for British Gymnastics:
After a great weekend at the Glasgow World Cup, with Max Whitlock winning gold and Claudia Fragapane and Daniel Purvis both winning bronze, injuries have seemed to plague top British gymnasts. Fresh from her bronze medal win at the Glasgow World Cup, Fragapane, was taken off the list for this weekends English Championships. It is unknown whether it is injury related however, with such a sudden decision, it is likely that it is. Additionally, Catherine Lyons, who was set to make her long awaited senior debut was also scratched from the roster of the English Championships due to injuries that she has been suffering from for a while now. Also, 2015 World Championships team member, Kelly Simm who was slated to compete at last weekends Glasgow Wold Cup has also been forced to sit out of the English Championships this weekend due an injury sustained in December 2015. Additionally, 2015 World team member and 2014 Youth Olympic Games medalist, Ellie Downie, who was slated to compete at this weekends Stuttgart World Cup has now been replaced by 2012 Olympian, Rebecca Tunney. Like Fragapane, no injury has been confirmed, however it is possible. Conversely, it could have simply been decided that Tunney was the better choice for the World Cup event.
Whilst bad news seems to be looming over British Gymnastics at the moment, two beacons of light seem to be also coming from the British Isles. As I mentioned 2012 Olympian, Rebecca Tunney has replaced Ellie Downie at the Stuttgart World Cup. This is significant as since the 2013 World Championships, Rebecca has been plagued with injuries and her selection for the World Cup event and good performance at last weeekend British Team Championships has shown that Rebecca is back and is most certainly on the road to becoming her old self. Likewise, 2014 World Championships competitor, Gabby Jupp, who has struggled with injuries is also on the comeback trail and performed extremely well at last weekends British Team Championships, specifically on the UB, where she hopes to shine again at the English Championships.
4. Artur Akopyan & Galina Marinova respond to McKayla Maroney’s interview:
Following McKayla Maroney’s interview with GymCastic there was heavy backlash from the gymnastics community crying out for change. While it was important to hear McKayla’s story, it was only fair to hear her coaches side also. The fantastic Gymcastic, of course reached out to McKayla’s coaches, Galina and Artur of All Olympia AOGC for comment and this week, revealed what they had to say. It was interesting, and slightly disappointing to hear what they had to say. Both echoed the sentiment that they had no regrets and did not deny their coaching style. Both expressed love and praise for McKayla as a person and a gymnast, stating that McKayla is a good girl and that she has a tremendous work ethic and that at the end of the day, she made it to the Olympics and won a gold medal and so therefore should be grateful. Whilst it is clear that both coaches are not malicious people and do love their gymnasts, in the interest of the business, their comments were dissatisfactory.
5. Pacific Rim Championships teams begin to be named:
With the majority of teams announcing their Test Event teams, an event that precedes the Test Event is just as important and this week, a clearer picture as to who we will see in Everett, Washington began to emerge. Both Canada and Australia announced their team with Australia announcing that the same team will head to both Washington and Rio for the Test Event, whilst Canada, having qualified a full team to the Olympics at last years World Championships will send only two gymnasts to Rio and a full team to Washington. Likewise, the teams sent to Jesolo this weekend are also similar to the ones we will see at the Test Event in Rio, with France sending the exact team that will go to Rio to Jesolo this weekend.
6. Kayla Williams gets married:
2009 World Vault Champion who burst onto the elite scene, winning this title in her first year at the elite level got married this week to fellow Alabama alum and Carolina Panthers wide receiver, Kevin Norwood. Memorably, Norwood proposed to Williams in front of a packed house following Kayla’s senior night in 2013. Fellow Alabama gymnast and past protege of Mary Lee Tracy, Amanda Jetter was one of her bridesmaids and both looked beautiful as they made the gymnastics community feel very old.
Evidently, it was a busy week and this weekend is set to be just as busy with the City of Jesolo Trophy taking place in Jesolo, Italy, the Stuttgart World Cup taking place in Stuttgart, Germany alongside the Stuttgart Team Challenge and the English Championships taking place in Leicestershire, England. Heads will be spinning whilst the gymnastics community attempts to keep up however, as we get ever closer to Rio, what else would we expect.